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A $1.4 million Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery (TIGER) grant agreement has been formally reached for the New Hampshire Northcoast Rail Improvement Project, U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) announced yesterday.Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the TIGER V grant to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, which applied for the funding to help cover the project's $2 million cost. The work calls for upgrading and repairing 42 miles of the the New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad's mainline between Rochester and Ossipee, N.H. In addition, a 0.7-mile section of washed-out track will be repaired and two grade crossings will be upgraded.The New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad's line connects with Pan Am Railways in Rollinsford, N.H., and a rail-banked line in Ossipee that's owned by the state. The project will enable the short line to expand its service on the line and operate more efficiently, said Shea-Porter in a press release. The New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad will be able to accommodate 286,000-pound rail cars and increase train speeds on the route."The Northcoast line connects to the national freight-rail network via Boston and is a vital transportation link for the Granite State," said Shea-Porter. "These repairs will complete a multi-year effort to modernize the rail line in partnership with local communities and the private sector."